by Jessica Van Roekel
They say selfies never lie. But I think they do. I scrolled through my phone and landed on a recent picture of me, and my thoughts surprised me. The running commentary in my mind didn’t include one positive comment. “My hair is too messy. Mt. Everest sprouted on my chin. When did my teeth get that yellow tinge? Ugh, I guess I really did gain ten pounds.” With selfies, I’m not just looking at my outward appearance; I’m remembering all my weaknesses too. What about you?
We remember the times we didn’t do what we wanted to do and instead we did the thing we didn’t want to do. We know when we could have chosen patience but let our impatience fly. There are days when forgiveness seems too hard, and bitterness grows a little more. These things we remember when we look at an old selfie or in the mirror. But those images don’t tell us we are beloved no matter what we look like or how we failed.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV).
This passage from Zephaniah describes Jerusalem’s future hope. Imagine how Jerusalem might have thought if she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She abandoned the Lord, turned away from him, and rebelled against him. Her mistakes and regrets parade before her. Yet, God called her back to himself, and she responded with repentance. He wooed her and saved her and called her his own. He promises redemption, transformation, and renewal for his beloved.
Beloved describes someone who is greatly loved and dear to the heart. We are dear to God’s heart. He draws near to us and desires to be present in our lives. He is our rock, refuge, and savior, not because he must, but because he loves us. He holds us close to his heart, and he delights in us.
The next time you come across a selfie and the litany of what’s wrong with you begins in your mind, stop. Let the regrets go. Don’t allow bitterness to rob you of today’s joy. Remember how much God rejoices over you. You are his. He extends forgiveness, grace, and mercy. He delights to save. His love quiets your anxious doubting heart, and then he sings over you—loudly. They say selfies never lie, but sometimes they do, because we forget the truth of who we are to the Lord. We are his beloved.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Jessica Van Roekel is a worship leader, speaker, and writer. She believes that through Christ’s transforming grace, personal histories don’t need to define the present or determine the future. Her greatest desire is to see people live this “God-life” with all the power and grace that God provides. She writes at welcomegrace.com and would love to connect with you.
Join the conversation: What do you see when you look in the mirror?